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UK Publications

24 March 2017 Q1 Consumption will be Weak, Despite February's Retail Recovery

By Samuel Tombs

The 1.4% month-to-month rise in retail sales volumes in February is not a game-changer for the economy's growth prospects in Q1. The increase reversed just under half of the 2.9% decline between October and January. The 1.5% fall in retail sales in the three months to February, compared to the previous three months, is the worst result in seven years.

Category: UK Documents / Document PDF (145.19 KB) Download

*March 2017 - U.K. Economic Chartbook*

By Samuel Tombs

Consumers are buckling under high inflation...but the MPC won't add to their woes by hiking rates

Category: UK Documents / Document PDF (3.38 MB) Download

23 March 2017 February Retail Sales Likely to Confirm Consumer Slowdown

By Samuel Tombs

Under normal circumstances, we would expect today's retail sales figures to reveal that volumes rebounded in February, following the 2.7% fall over the previous three months. But the continued weakness of spending surveys suggests that we should brace for another soft report.

Category: UK Documents / Document PDF (128.49 KB) Download

22 March 2017 Inflation Will Continue to Exceed the MPC's Forecast

By Samuel Tombs

February's consumer price figures provided hard evidence that the import price shock, caused by sterling's depreciation last year, is filtering through faster than the MPC expected. We expect CPI inflation to continue to exceed the forecast set out in February's Inflation Report.

Category: UK Documents / Document PDF (135.24 KB) Download

21 March 2017 Will Investors Shorting Sterling Remain Frustrated?

By Samuel Tombs

Speculators who have sold sterling over the last six months have been frustrated. Investors have been overwhelmingly net short sterling, but the pound has hovered between $1.20 and $1.25, as our first chart shows. Undeterred, investors increased their net short positions last week to 107K contracts-- the most since records began in 1992--from 81K a week earlier.

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20 March 2017 February's Above-Target Inflation Rate won't be the Last

By Samuel Tombs

February's consumer price report, released tomorrow, likely will show that CPI inflation has breached the MPC's 2% target for the first time since November 2013. Indeed, we think the headline rate jumped to 2.2%, from 1.8% in January, exceeding the 2.1% rate expected by the MPC and the consensus.

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17 March 2017 Weak Wage Numbers will Continue to Stymie the MPC's Hawks

By Samuel Tombs

The minutes of March's MPC meeting were more newsworthy than we--and the markets--expected. Kristin Forbes broke ranks and voted to raise Bank Rate to 0.50%, from 0.25%.

Category: UK Documents / Document PDF (143.18 KB) Download

16 March 2017 Slowing Wage Gains Support the MPC's Loose Policy Stance

By Samuel Tombs

Yesterday's labour market data significantly bolster the consensus view on the MPC that interest rates do not need to rise this year to counter the imminent burst of inflation. Granted, the headline, three-month average, unemployment rate fell to 4.7% in January--its lowest rate since August 1975--from 4.8% in December, defying the consensus forecast for no-change.

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15 March 2017 Low Mortgage Arrears Hide Rising Risks as the Economy Slows

By Samuel Tombs

The slowdown in households' income growth since the referendum has not pushed up mortgage default rates, so far. Employment grew by just 0.2% quarter-on-quarter in Q3 and 0.1% in Q4, well below the 0.5% average rate seen in the three years before the referendum.

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14 March 2017 A Hard Brexit is not Inevitable, Despite the Government's Rhetoric

By Samuel Tombs

With just days to go until the Government triggers Article 50, the consensus view remains that Britain is heading for a "hard" Brexit, which will leave it without unrestricted access to the single market and outside the customs union. We think this view overlooks how political pressures likely will change over the next two years.

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